On This Day: Leeds annihilate Sheffield Wednesday, 1991
The signature performance of Leeds’ last championship season – not even one of the finest dives of all time could deny them.
Pre-match, Leeds sat two points behind leaders Manchester United, who also had a game in hand, and they’d endured a miserable few weeks. Prior to the New Year’s Day gift of a game with West Ham, they’d gone five league games without a win, and also been subjected to a 3-1 home evisceration by United in the Rumbelows Cup.
That being the case, their away match at Wednesday – fifth at the time, third at the end, and nobody’s bitches – was expected to signal the start of an inevitable falling away. But Leeds set about them from the kick-off and soon took the lead, floppy-haired rough-player Lee Chapman seizing on Fairclough’s knockdown from McAllister’s corner.
They proceeded to batter Wednesday with attack after attack; Chapman, it turned out, was absolutely on one, outpacing two shamefaced defenders before firing against the bar. Shortly afterwards, Leeds scored again, Viv Anderson go-go gadgeting a leg to bring down McAllister and conceding a free-kick just outside the box, clattered into the far corner by everyone’s favourite Maltese snooker whirlwind.
Already desperate, Wednesday mustered their first serious attack of the game, and when Chris Whyte extended a leg to rob Gordon Watson, he flung himself to the ground with added twist and convulsion, winning a penalty which former Loiner and Manchester United fan John Sheridan converted on the rebound. Vexed, Leeds simply went after Wednesday again and immediately inserted another goal, Chapman power-guiding Speed’s left-wing cross past Chris Woods for three-one.
After the break, Chapman completed his hat-trick following another corner and Mike Whitlow made it five from Wallace’s cross, returning the favour by supplying him with the sixth. Leeds were not going away.
Photo courtesy of Well Offside.